The wrapper is medium brown with a couple of slightly raised veins present. The seams are smooth and just barely visible while the head is finished off with a well applied triple cap. The foot has some wrapper that folds over about a quarter inch around but still leaves a decent sized opening. There are two bands with the first being orange with a white peace symbol and the secondary being gray and brass and specifying the line name and this special vitola. The aroma from the wrapper is a full mix of leather and hay while the foot brings some wood and hay. The pre-light draw brings a mix of spicy cedar and graham cracker with fairly full spice on my lips.
The Illusione OneOff +53 Super Robusto has a near Colorado red wrapper shade with good oil content. The bunch and roll is uniform, veins well pressed, seams tight and head finished off with a well applied cap. Aromas from the wrapper tell chestnuts, wet barnyard and hay. Nosing the enclosed foot gives the same notes. Cold draw gives cherry cordials, cedar, hay and light black pepper.
The cigar begins with a really nice combination of wood, cinnamon and a floral note. After a half dozen draws, a slight cream joins the profile. At three quarters of an inch in, the wood gains a slight mesquite note to go along with the cinnamon, cream and floral note. At an inch and a quarter, the wood has dropped the mesquite note but is still up front with the cream while the cinnamon and floral notes are in the background. The retrohale has the creamy wood up front with a bit of cinnamon zing. As the third comes to a close, the wood, cream and cinnamon are at equal levels while the floral note has departed. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.
There’s quite a lot going on with the first third. The most prominent notes are as expected of a good corojo based Illusione cigar. That is, lots of cream, buttered bread, well balanced black pepper spice and nuts. What’s unique is the full tannins. Tannins that engulf the palate, especially on the sides of the tongue (think big Cabernet Sauvignon). Retrohaling gives bigger notes of buttered bread, cream, black pepper, nuts, floral perfume and dried fruits (apricots perhaps). The finish is very long with full tannins and cedar. Strength and body is medium.
As the second third begins, the cinnamon drops slightly behind the creamy wood. At a half inch in, some mustiness joins the profile. At an inch in, the mustiness has taken the lead over the creamy wood. The retrohale is a similar profile with some cinnamon zing remaining in the background. As the third comes to a close, the profile consist of musty wood with a slight amount of char as the cream has dropped out. The strength in this third bumped up to medium.
The second third becomes more tannins focused. As a result of this, the other flavors (cream, buttered, bread, balance black pepper, nuts) gets a bit lost (but it is still there). Further, the strength climbs to medium-full (body still medium).
As the final third begins, the mustiness is still ahead of the wood as some cream returns to the profile. At a half inch in, the cigar warms up, bringing some mintiness to the profile as the cream drops out. At an inch in, the retrohale is also providing the musty wood. The cigar finishes out with much the same profile. The strength remained right at medium.
The last third continues to be tannins driven but less so than the second third. Further, the dried nuts and black pepper comes out more (with the pepper even showing up on my lips). Strength and body finishes medium-full and medium, respectively.
The burn line was fairly jagged throughout and did require a touch-up in the final third to keep things in line. The ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.
Burn performance was overall good. Within the first two thirds, the ashes were quite flaky. Within the entire cigar, at times I had to increase the frequency of draws as the smoke production diminished quite a bit so a quicker puff had to be made to combat the cigar going out entirely (which it did once).
The draw was fairly snug, and even using a draw tool didn’t help things much and may have put a damper on the flavor profile being fully realized.
The cigar started with a great combination of wood, cinnamon, cream and a floral note. It dropped down in complexity and enjoyment as it progressed, settling into a musty wood profile. Construction was a bit of a challenge with a jagged burn line and snug draw. Strength was right around medium the whole way. I definitely enjoyed this blend/vitola more than the Corona and would like to revisit this in hopes that a better draw would let the blend shine a bit more as the cigar progressed. The price point is quite high and I’m not sure the cigar warrants it in terms of performance. If you’re an Illusione fan and want to splurge, it’s worth a try to see if it’s something you might want to stock up on.
A bit snug but not a big gripe whatsoever. Very good draw performance.
The first ultra premium price tagged cigar out of Illusione. The big question of course is, is it worth it? At this point in time, I’m afraid not. But the Illusione OneOff +53 Super Robusto absolutely has the potential to be great down the line. The cigar’s tannins need to be smoothed out so that more of the complexities and flavors within the first third can shine for the entire cigar. Even with this said, I think it is worth picking a couple up to smoke what Illusione deems as best (best purely in the sense of price tag). Because Illusione, as many cigar enthusiasts know, rarely disappoints.
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